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Street art propaganda in Sri Lanka

Street art murals have begun appearing in Sri Lanka pushing Sinhala nationalist rhetoric and honouring Sri Lankan soldiers, including an infamous brigadier who currently faces a court case in Britain after he motioned death threats to Tamils last year.

The murals, in the city of Kandy and other places on the island, have been emblazoned with Sinhala nationalist slogans and imagery, including the words “one nation”, murals of lions, Sri Lankan troops and ancient Sinhala fighters in battle scenes.

One mural captures Brigadier Priyanaka Fernando pointing to a Sri Lankan flag, a gesture that he notoriously made as he signalled death threats to Tamil protestors in London last year. The brigadier has been the subject of a private prosecution at Westminster Magistrates Court, which is due to give a verdict tomorrow.

The art has been praised by Sri Lanka’s war crimes accused president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who tweeted,

“A strong foundation is being laid to change the course of our future by the youth, with their initiative, leadership, & teamwork. Bringing forth creativity as a positive force in our society is symbolic of a productive culture in the making. I am really proud of these youngsters.”